Senecio rowleyanusString of Pearls
Native Range: Southwestern Africa
Senecio rowleyanus, commonly known as string-of-pearls or string-of-beads, is a leafy succulent vine of the aster family. It is native to dry areas of southwest Africa where its stems typically trail along the ground to 2-3’ long or more, rooting at the nodes to form a dense creeping ground cover.
It is particularly noted for its unique, almost spherical, tiny pea-shaped modified leaves (each to 1/4” diameter) which store water, minimize water consumption and generally facilitate plant survival in dry climates. Core of each leaf is composed of water storage cells. White, daisy-like, discoid flowers (1/2” across) appear on 1 1/2” stalks in summer. Flower structure is similar to that of asters. Flowers have the aroma of cinnamon.
Source: Missouri Botanical Garden
While the round leaves of this plant store water, the surface area of the leaves that is exposed to the sun and dry air also gets reduced due to their shape. This helps in minimizing the loss of water through evaporation. If you look at the leaves, you will be able to spot a small point at their tips and a window on the side. These are characteristics that are seen in some succulent plants. These facilitate the entry of light into the leaves, thereby allowing photosynthesis to take place. The window protects the cells from extreme heat.
Source: World of Succulents
Species: S. rowleyanus